Tomb of Inherkau (TT359)

Inherkau lived in Deir el-Medina in Dynasty XX during the reigns of Rameses III and IV. His title was ‘Foreman of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth’ and his beautifully decorated tomb reflected this important position of foreman of the necropolis workers. Inherkau’s wife was a Chantress of Amun called Wab.

A blind harpist before Inherkau and his wife

The tomb is less well-preserved than that of Sennedjem which is nearby and much of the outer chambers have been destroyed. Scenes preserved from the outer rooms contain representations of the ‘Book of Gates’, the ‘Book of the Dead’ and offering formulae in blue hieroglyphs on a yellow background. In the antechamber the ceiling is decorated with a repeated pattern of bulls with solar discs between their horns.

A staircase leads down into the burial chamber, which still contains lively and colourful paintings, though with some damage. The entrance to the burial chamber was once flanked by depictions of Amenhotep I and the black-faced Ahmose-Nefertari which are now preserved in the Berlin Museum. These two rulers were deified and worshipped as a cult during Dynasty XIX and XX.

Inherkau adores the Benu-bird

The western wall of the burial chamber has 3 registers with 17 scenes. In some of the more notable scenes, Inherkau is seen leaving his tomb, being led by Thoth to Osiris, kneeling bareheaded before the jackal-headed ‘Souls of Nekhen’ and adoring the ‘benu-bird’ or phoenix of Heliopolis. Further along the wall a blind harpist plays ( with the text of his song) for Inherkau and his wife Wab who are seated on chairs in their fine clothes. The cat of Heliopolis is depicted slaying the Apophis serpent who is coiled around the sacred Ished or Persea tree in the register below.

On the northern wall Inherkau is seen with his son Har-min before Ptah and his son Kenna before Osiris (damaged) offering burning torches.

The eastern wall shows the deceased and his wife with their four sons seated before a prophet of Osiris who is offering them a shabti-box and a statuette of Osiris. Inherkau is also seen worshipping four jackals and below, is seated before a row of six priests. The leading man is a sem-priest who holds a ram-headed wand. On the rest of the wall Inherkau appears before various deities and mythological beings.


Inherkau’s tomb is situated next to Sennedjem’s in Deir el-Medina and open from 6.00am to 4.00pm during the winter season. Tickets should be bought at the main West Bank ticket office before going to the workmen’s village. Tickets cost EGP 30 for the tombs of Sennedjem, Inherkau and the Temple of Hathor.

~ by Su on February 7, 2009.